Tips to Take Your Video Content from Average to Awesome

July 27, 2018

by Bailey Morris

Video content reigns on nearly every online platform.  The good news is you don’t have to be the next Spielberg to make a great piece of video content for your website or social channels.

Regardless of the equipment you use, here are a few tips that will help elevate the look, feel and production value of your video.

1. Shoot with mobile in mind.

According to eMarketer, 1.87 billion people will use a mobile phone to watch digital video in 2018 – an 11.9 percent increase from 2017.  With this data in mind, be sure to develop your videos for smaller screens.  For example, consider positioning your subject closer to the camera than you normally might, so the audience can easily read their facial expressions even when viewing on a mobile device.

2. Capture clear audio.

If you’re shooting a video with your phone, there are simple steps you can take to improve audio quality.  When using a phone’s built-in microphone, your subject may sound like they are talking into a tin can.  Using a microphone that can be plugged directly into your phone makes a big difference for a small cost.

If your video will be posted to social media and audio is integral to the story, be sure to include captions.  When most videos autoplay, the audio is muted.  Facebook can autogenerate captions, or you can add your own.

If you find Facebook’s caption editor to be a little tricky to use, I recommend using YouTube’s caption editor, as it’s a little more user-friendly.  Once you’re finished creating the captions, you can download the “.srt” caption file and add it to your Facebook video.

3. Get creative with different angles.

Try filming your subject and other b-roll footage from different angles.  From a lower “ant’s-eye view” to the more distant “bird’s-eye view,” different angles offer variety and keep your video interesting.

4. Pose your subject.

Properly posing your subject is key.  When a subject has their shoulders square to the camera, it causes the video to lack depth – especially if they’re in front of a flat backdrop.  Instead, turn their feet slightly away from the camera so their shoulders are at an angle.  Be sure to consider the rule of thirds when positioning your subject as well.

5. Go toward the light! (But not too close.)

Lighting is another crucial component to create a polished video.  And guess what?  You don’t always need a lighting kit.  If shooting outside, try to shoot right around daybreak or sunset – the time of day known as “the golden hour” – when light and shadows aren’t as harsh.  If you can’t change the time of your shoot, position your subject in the shade or, if indoors, position them near natural light from a window.  Just make sure your subject is evenly lit and not sitting too close to the light, otherwise they may look washed out.

We’d like to give a shoutout to Karen, one of our communications specialists, for being our model in these photos and videos.  Clearly, she did not have any fun.

Tide: A Swift and Clean Response to the #TidePodChallenge

February 9, 2018

by Bailey Morris

You know you have a PR crisis on your hands when the CEO of your organization has to talk about teenagers eating laundry pods on the weekly earnings call.

Nowadays when a brand faces a PR crisis, it’s regular procedure to take to their social media channels and address the issue head-on.  And before Tide tackled all of their competition in their quirky, bait-and-switch Super Bowl ads, they were keeping plenty busy tackling conversations about the “Tide Pod Challenge” on social media.

Like other daft internet challenges before its time, (“The Cinnamon Challenge,” “The Bath Salt Challenge,” etc.) the “Tide Pod Challenge” took the internet by storm, as teens began filming themselves biting into the brand’s laundry detergent pods and spewing soap everywhere – or worse, ingesting it.

We’re all about innovative solutions here at Curley & Pynn, and when we saw Tide’s creative response to the situation at hand, we had to write a blog post about it.

Instead of just posting a tweet that read, “Tide Pods are not meant for consumption.  If consumed please call poison control immediately,” Tide created a brief, funny PSA with New England Patriots’ tight-end Rob Gronkowski and posted it on their Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts.

Right now, the tweet has about 98,000 re-tweets and boasts about 10 million views – and that doesn’t even take into account the 286,000 views on YouTube and 164,000 views on Facebook!  They found a way to get their message across that it’s absurd to eat Tide Pods, but doing it in a comical way.

But why the larger amount of views on Twitter?  My theory is that it could be due to the Tide Pod Challenge originating on Twitter, and that’s where Tide knew most of their teen audience was posting about the challenge … but that’s another blog post for another time.

At the end of the day, it’s about remembering that public relations is “people relations.”  Tide can’t control what able-minded individuals do with their product – all they can do is tell them that it’s ludicrous, and that they shouldn’t do it.

So why not have a little fun with it?  After all, 10 million video views is nothing to sneeze at.  Unless you have laundry soap in your nose – then you might need to sneeze.

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